Re: UK Government response to S&T committee

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2005 21:28:59 +0000

I must apologise - although Peter Suber's initial posting about the
Government response was back-to-front, he subsequently corrected that
(in the very message to which I was responding!). However, I think
Stevan's and the Guardian's misreadings remain uncorrected.

Sally Morris, Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers


S.H.: To short-circuit still more hermeneutic cycles, I will reply here:
Re: Sally's correcting my "misreading": The whole of what I wrote was:

    "Once again, all the focus and the polemic is on OA Publishing (Gold)
    and the gist of the Committee's recommendation (OA Self-Archiving,
    Green) is glossed over" [S.H.]

Sally writes:

    "There is no Government 'polemic' whatever in the report [S.M.]"

To settle this matter objectively, I am afraid we shall have to wait
upon the invention of an objective polemic-meter. Until then it will
have to remain a matter of interpretation.

It is not a matter of interpretation, however, that Richard Wray's
report in the Guardian,11032,1403756,00.html
was entitled "Open access moves a step closer" not "Open access publishing
moves a step closer."

Hence Sally's insisting that it is wrong to report "a shift in Government
policy towards OA publishing [S.M.]" is correct -- except that Richard
did no such thing! It is Sally who is again mixing up gold and green
here, focusing on gold, and glossing over the gist of the Committee's
recommendation (green) (perhaps for polemical purposes)...

(I do agree with Sally, though, that the fact that (1) "the government
said it did not oppose so-called open access publishing [gold] [R.W.]" and
(2) "backed moves to allow academics to archive articles published by
traditional houses such as Reed Elsevier on the web [green] [R.W.]" does
not really amount to moving "a step closer" to OA. It amounts to not
moving at all, one way or the other.)

One thing we can all agree on is: "Moral - read carefully for yourself! [S.M.]":

Stevan Harnad
Received on Sat Feb 05 2005 - 21:28:59 GMT

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